REDUCTION OF THE HYPERTROPHIED INFERIOR TURBINATE. A COMPARISON OF THREE TECHNIQUES
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Persistent hypertrophy of the inferior turbinate is one of the most common causes of nasal obstruction. There is no general agreement among rhinologists about the best operation to relieve nasal obstruction in cases of inferior turbinate hypertrophy. Three techniques were used for reduction of hypertrophied inferior turbinate in patients refractory to medical treatment. Group 1 included 20 patients treated by radiofrequency energy (R.F). for turbinate reduction, group II incluciPd 25 patients treated by submucous diathermy (SMD) of inferior turbinate and group III included 24 patients treated by submucous resection SMR of the inferior bony turbinate. The severity of the pre- and postoperative nasal obstruction was evaluated by visual analogue scale (VAS) and acoustic rhinometry. There was a significant improvement of severity of nasal obstruction in patients treated by RF energy after 1 week. At the completion of the study at 6 months significant improvement was seen in 90% of patients. In group II the improvement of mean nasal obstruction reached a significant value at 8 weeks and in group III the severity of nasal obstruction improved significantly at 4 weeks follow up. Although our results confirmed that SMR of the inferior turbinate bone is an effective method of shrinkage of the inferior turbinate, the complications of a relatively more bleeding during the operation, mild postoperative bleeding, postoperative discomfort and mild to moderate crusting lead us to recommend RF ablation of the inferior turbinate. Moreover the patient satisfaction and lack of morbidity of RF energy tissue ablation of the inferior turbinate would make this method easy to repeat for recurrent nasal obstruction and makes it a good alternative to other traditional methods.